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George Hargrave impresses with the bat for Shropshire as Derbyshire win NCCA Showcase match at Shifnal


George Hargrave struck a fine, unbeaten half-century for Shropshire as the county faced a strong Derbyshire side in a NCCA Showcase match at Shifnal.

The Shrewsbury opener impressively carried his bat to end 69 not out on a day that Derbyshire, inspired by an excellent century from captain Billy Godleman, emerged winners by 236 runs.

Shropshire chairman John Hulme said the club welcomed the opportunity to play against a first-class side, with all 20 National Counties Cricket Association teams handed the chance to face first-class opposition.

“After a long period of time, it was certainly nice to have the opportunity to host a first-class county,” he said.

“Our thanks to Shifnal Cricket Club for hosting the fixture and their hospitality, in particular chairman Alex Riley and also Adrian Shelley for all his hard work on the ground.

“The turn out of spectators to watch the match was very encouraging after a wet morning and late start, so thank you to everyone for their support.”

Sunday morning rain delayed the start of the match to 1pm, with the fixture reduced to 36 overs per side.

Derbyshire, asked to bat by Shropshire captain Graham Wagg, kept the scoreboard ticking over as they rattled up 325-4.

Openers Godleman and Luis Reece put on 183 for the first wicket, before skipper Godleman was caught by Andre Bradford off Joe Stanley for 111, which came off 51 balls and included three sixes and 17 fours.

It was the first of three wickets for promising young off-spinner Stanley – he also removed Harry Came and Brooke Guest – as he took 3-54.

Wagg was the other Shropshire wicket-taker as Reece, having made 76, fell to a catch by wicketkeeper Ben Lees.

Tom Wood (75no) and Anuj Dal (37no) then shared an unbroken fifth-wicket partnership of 93 for the first-class county.

Hargrave, the Oxford University captain, impressed in Shropshire’s reply as the home side were bowled out for 89 in the 26th over.

Hargrave, who hit an unbeaten century on the Championship debut for Shropshire last season, ended unbeaten on 69, with two sixes and five fours.

Sam Conners (3-13), Wood (2-1) and Nick Potts (2-10) led the way with the ball for Derbyshire, a side pushing for promotion in division two of the County Championship, after reaching the quarter finals of the Vitality Blast earlier this season.

Shropshire chairman Hulme added: “George Hargrave played exceptionally well and showed his undoubted qualities. He is a player with a very good technique who finds the gaps and times the ball well.

“Young Joe Stanley took three wickets in another very encouraging display following his Shropshire debut in the NCCA Championship at Cornwall a few days earlier.

“It was a valuable learning experience for our young team in what was always going to be a difficult match against a very strong Derbyshire side.

“We wish Derbyshire every success in their Royal London Cup campaign.”

Shropshire’s final match of the season, a three-day NCCA Championship game against Devon, starts at Bridgnorth on Sunday, August 14.

Pictured: Shifnal hosted Shropshire’s NCCA Showcase match against Derbyshire.